Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 13 No. 4 (Fall 1999)


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Measuring Returns on Investments in Collectibles

Article Citation

Burton, Benjamin J., and Joyce P. Jacobsen. 1999. "Measuring Returns on Investments in Collectibles." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13(4): 193-212.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.4.193


This paper considers the question of how to measure and interpret the financial return to investing in collectibles. We review various methodologies for creating priced indexes and then discuss studies that explicitly calculate a rate of return to some set of collectibles. While most collectibles appear to yield positive real returns, the majority embody more risk and yield lower financial returns than stocks. Other characteristics of collectibles prices, such as covariance with other asset prices, are also examined.

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Burton, Benjamin J. (Lehman Brothers, New York, NY)
Jacobsen, Joyce P. (Wesleyan U)

JEL Classifications

Z11: Cultural Economics: Economics of the Arts and Literature
D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


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